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 $1 Million Settlement in Death
 of 3-Year-Old                                                                                       What’s a Sense of Smell
Okeechobee: An Okeechobee family                  Witnesses said there were no obstruc-
has accepted $1 million policy limits in        tions in the way, so the driver should have
                                                                                                     Port St. Lucie: For a Port St. Lucie woman, a sense of
a wrongful death lawsuit. Their toddler         seen the child and his bicycle, making the
                                                                                                     smell was worth $450,000. That’s the amount Stuart
was riding his bike when a truck driver         driver negligent. The young boy suffered
                                                                                                     attorney Philip DeBerard obtained for her in an in-
struck and killed him.                          massive head trauma, which resulted in
                                                                                                     surance settlement.
  On a quiet Sunday morning in the              his death. Tony Goodman, an attorney
                                                                                                       The young woman fractured a bone in her middle ear
parking lot of the Town Center Apart-           with the Accident Law Offices of Philip
                                                                                                     when she unbuckled her seat belt and attempted to get
ments in Okeechobee, FL, the parents of         DeBerard, said, “This incident showed
                                                                                                     out of her boyfriend’s parked car. In an effort to keep her
a three-year-old boy thought he was in a        blatant disregard for responsible driving
                                                                                                     from leaving the vehicle, her boyfriend slammed on the
safe place to ride his bicycle. The par-        in a vicinity where small children play on
                                                                                                     gas pedal, accelerating instead of stopping, ignoring a
ents were standing close by, watching;          a regular basis. We hope this settlement
                                                                                                     stop sign, and making a sharp turn at 20 miles per hour.
signs saying “Slow Children at Play”            will make a difference, emphasizing how
                                                                                                     The force of this maneuver threw the young woman
were posted; and there were speed               motor vehicle drivers must take respon-
                                                                                                     out of the car and onto the pavement, where she vio-
bumps throughout the complex to slow            sibility for pedestrians.”
                                                                                                     lently hit her head and fractured the right temporal bone
down drivers.                                     The defendant’s business insurance
                                                                                                     in her auditory canal (middle ear).
  Yet, the driver of a 1 ton business truck     company accepted responsibility for the
                                                                                                       The injury left the 18-year-old woman with anosmia
with dual rear tires “gunned” his vehicle,      defendant’s actions, settling the case for
                                                                                                     – a permanent loss of smell – and a partial loss of taste.
pulled straight out of the parking space,       the entire policy limits of $1 million.
                                                                                                     Prior to this accident, the young woman was very
and unknowingly ran over the small              Attorney Philip DeBerard said, “This
                                                                                                     healthy and active, attending school and working part-
child’s bike, killing the boy instantly. The    accident robbed his family of a young
                                                                                                     time. Now, she will not be able to smell the flowers on
driver of the truck was unaware of the          and spirited son due to the careless driv-
                                                                                                     her wedding day, the salt air at the beach, the special
tragedy and had to be chased down to            ing of one person. No amount of money
                                                                                                     smell of a freshly clean and powdered baby, or even a
get him to stop.                                can ever take the place of the little boy
                                                                                                     dangerous gas leak in her house.
  The night before this tragedy, the truck      whose life was cut short so tragically.”
driver had been partying in West Palm             The Accident Law Offices of Philip
                                                                                            practices in the area of
Beach, not arriving home until 6:30 am.
                                                                                                       The Accident Law Offices of Philip DeBerard,

                                                                                                     Personal Injury and Wrongful Death, serving Okee-
He went to the apartment complex to             practices in the area of Personal Injury
                                                                                                     chobee, Stuart, Jupiter and Fort Pierce.
                                                DeBerard, www. flainjurylawyer. com

drop off a friend, and he admitted seeing       and Wrongful Death, serving Okee-
the child riding his bike in the parking        chobee, Stuart, Jupiter and Fort Pierce.
lot when he arrived.

Insurance Company Pays Injured Pedestrian $900,000
Okeechobee: Eugene Castle, a seasonal resident          the neighboring gas station and accelerated into      mow the grass, or simply be alone. Castle now
of Okeechobee, treasured coming from Eliza-             the inside lane, violently striking Castle and        needs around the clock care, and his loving wife
bethtown, Indiana, to Florida every winter for the      knocking him to the ground, unconscious               of 50 years has taken on that full-time responsi-
last 17 years. His passion for fishing and boating        Trauma Hawk quickly arrived at the scene and        bility, ending her retirement as well. Sadly
allowed him to retire and do what he most loved         transported him to St. Mary’s Hospital. He had        for both him and his wife, he is not expected to
as a professional sport fisherman.                      suffered a severe closed head injury – now re-        improve.
  In March 2008, Castle was taking his morning          ferred to as a Traumatic Brain Injury – and re-         Stuart attorney Philip DeBerard negotiated a
walk along State Road 441 in an area commonly           mained in a coma for 17 days.                         settlement with the driver’s Canadian insurance
traveled by pedestrians. He was waiting on a              He came out of the coma, but fishing or even        company for more than $900,000 which at least
grassy median strip, which was not marked as a          sitting on the lake in his boat is no longer an op-   will help with Mr. Castle’s care in his last years.
 crosswalk, for traffic to pass. A van pulled out of    tion, just a dream of the past. He cannot drive,

                                                                                                                 News articles continued on reverse side

                                                                                Stuart: . . . . . . . . 286-1000           Vero Beach: . . . . 770-0001
                                                                                Fort Pierce: . . . . 464-8000              Jupiter: . . . . . . . . 748-8887
                                                                                Okeechobee: . . . 467-7100                 Toll-Free: 1-800-299-8878
$342,700 Awarded Client
At Trial
Stuart FL: According to the 2008         Motorist coverage on his own auto
Florida Department of Highway            insurance policy. “Unfortunately,
Safety and Motor Vehicles, alcohol-
related fatalities, crashes and in-
                                         his own insurance company re-

juries have decreased in the past few
                                         fused to fairly evaluate his claim,

years, but Port St. Lucie resident
                                         despite repeated efforts to negoti-               250th Student Wins
Matthew Rudow wasn’t that lucky.
                                         ate on his behalf, and we had to

His car was violently struck on the
                                         take his case to trial to be heard                Eagle Award
driver’s side by an uninsured, drunk
                                         by a jury,” DeBerard explains.

driver. Rudow often thought about
                                         After a four-day trial, the jury                  Lora wins Morningside award
dropping his uninsured motorist
                                                                                           The 250th Morningside Academy “You Are One
                                         awarded Rudow $342,700.

coverage, but his accident taught        Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist
                                                                                           of a Kind Eagle Award” student winner, Erick
him how important that coverage is.      Coverage was initiated in 1961, en-
                                                                                           Lora, 9, was recognized on Oct. 22.
                                         abling consumers to obtain cover-
                                         age insuring themselves against
                                                                                           Stuart attorney Philip DeBerard first intro-
hopes that other drivers can learn       injuries caused by other drivers.
                                                                                           duced the Eagle Award in 1996 to honor students
Stuart attorney Philip DeBerard

from Rudow’s experience and that         Florida law requires that insurance
                                                                                           who “aim high and soar like an eagle” in their
it will encourage them to be sure        companies offer Uninsured Mo-
                                                                                           academic and personal lives.
they always have uninsured mo-           torist coverage in equal limits to the
torist coverage on their vehicles.       amount of bodily injury coverage
                                                                                           Each year for the last 14 years, teachers at Morn-
                                         afforded under the policy, but the
                                                                                           ingside Academy, a private Christian school in
In the accident, Rudow suffered se-      minor extra cost – and it is usually a
                                                                                           Port St. Lucie, nominate students they think meet
rious neck and back injuries that        very minor cost – is rejected by
                                                                                           the specific criteria set forth by DeBerard for this
caused severe pain and headaches         many drivers in order to save
                                                                                           award. The guiding principle of the “You Are
and left him unable to work any          money on their insurance bill.
                                                                                           One of A Kind Eagle Award” is recognition of
longer. According to his physician,
                                                                                           students who have distinguished themselves
surgery will be required in the future   In Rudow’s situation, Uninsured
                                                                                           through scholarship, leadership, and acts of serv-
and, due to the problematic location     Motorist coverage will help pay for
                                                                                           ice. These are students who soar above the crowd
of his spinal disc herniation, he must   his future treatment. “All drivers
                                                                                           through their strength of character, service to oth-
travel to a specialty hospital.          should contact their insurance agent
                                                                                           ers and commitment to their church. Many of
Rudow’s has his life, but it has been    and include Uninsured Motorist
                                                                                           these are students who have overcome obstacles
changed forever.                         coverage on their auto policy to pro-
                                                                                           in their life and despite the barriers, have pro-
                                         tect them against the uninsured driv-
                                                                                           gressed academically. The newest group of
Fortunately, Rudow made a smart          ers on the road,” attorney DeBerard
                                                                                           Eagle Award winners received a certificate of ac-
decision and purchased Uninsured         recommends.
                                                                                           complishment and an engraved Bible from at-
                                                                                           torney DeBerard in a ceremony in the school
                                                                                           chapel. The winners were Nathanial Miller, Billy
                                                                                           Vega, Karina DelToro and Erick Lora.

                                                                       Stuart: . . . . . . . . 286-1000      Vero Beach: . . . . 770-0001
                                                                       Fort Pierce: . . . . 464-8000         Jupiter: . . . . . . . . 748-8887
                                                                       Okeechobee: . . . 467-7100            Toll-Free: 1-800-299-8878

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